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Some of Ringo Starr‘s songs became huge hits in the 1970s. One of those hits sounds an awful lot like The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” Despite this, the song’s co-writer said the track was inspired by his own experiences.

Ringo Starr’s ‘No No Song’ sounds a lot like The Beatles’ ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’

Ringo’s “No No Song” has a light calypso/reggae element to it. It also has a jocular tone typical of Ringo’s solo work and the songs he sang for The Beatles. In terms of feel, style, and melody, “No No Song” is pretty similar to “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

Considering The Beatles’ catalog was so successful, the former Beatles would have every reason to regurgitate their old songs. Despite this, they rarely did. Of all The Beatles’ songs, it’s a wonder why Ringo regurgitated “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” Perhaps it’s because his signature style was light and funny.

Ringo Starr’s song was written by a Three Dog Night songwriter

“No No Song” was co-written by Hoyt Axton and David Jackson. Axton became famous for writing Three Dog Night’s hits “Joy to the World” and “Never Been to Spain.” During a 1982 interview with The Oklahoman, Axton discussed the origin of the track. He said it was inspired by the time he woke up in a strange hotel in a strange city. This spurned his decision to quit drugs and alcohol.

“I was afraid if I looked around, I’d see the devil sittin’ in the chair across the room, sayin’ ‘I got’cha, boy. You finally overdid it,'” he said. “That was the day before I wrote the ‘No No Song.'”

Axton discussed how he looked at this decision. “It wasn’t really that much of a moral issue,” he recalled. “It was just my body started sayin’ ‘Now wait a minute.’ A good analogy would be that your life is a camera and your mind is the lens. If you’ve got something foggin’ up the lens, man, you’re not gonna get a clear picture, a clear set of memories, or a clear life.

“Maybe ‘clear’ is the wrong word to use, ’cause those Scientologists use that word ‘clear,'” he said. “But I just got tired of bein’ drunk and crazed.”


John Lennon Said He and Paul McCartney Could’ve Been The Beatles Without George Harrison and Ringo Starr

How Ringo Starr’s ‘No No Song’ and The Beatles’ ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ performed

“No No Song” was released as a single with the B-side “Snookeroo.” The tunes reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 14 weeks. Both tracks appeared on the album Goodbye Vienna. That record reached No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 25 weeks.

Notably, The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” became a much lesser hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained on the chart for seven weeks. The song appeared on The White Album. That record topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks, lasting on the chart for 215 weeks.

Ringo’s “No No Song” is fun — even if it sounds like The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”